Blog by Toby Welch

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Your Inner Critic

Many writers speak of the challenges of writing when their inner critic keeps filling their head with doubt about their creative ability.  Their critic also makes them question how worthwhile the words are that they've written.

While I am not usually a violent person, this situation calls for drastic action.  I can't recommend strongly enough that you do what I did if this is a problem for you.

Find a quiet place to lay down where you won't be interrupted.  (Hang tight with me here, this isn't some flaky mumbo jumbo coming up.)  I found a shady spot under a tree but your couch works just fine.  Now conjure up an image of your inner critic.  Mine looked more like a gargoyle than a human but whatever yours looks like is perfect.  Now hire an imagery hit squad, four or five individuals should do.  (This is one instance where it helps to be so creative.).  Now get your hit men to beat the crap out of your inner critic.  They can beat the critic with their fists, use brass knuckles, draw out swords, or line him up in front of a firing squad.  The method doesn't matter, it's the fact that the critic is fatally wounded that matters.  Mentally scrape what's left of him into a coffin and take him to a cemetery and bury him.  Think of something witty for his tombstone (I used “R.I.P. Motherfucker” although you will come up with something better, I have no doubt.).  Hold a funeral for him if you wish or just bid him good riddance.  Then lock him away somewhere in the deep recesses of your mind where he will never get out to pester you again.

I did this a decade ago and I never have issues with my inner critic.  They are a pain in the ass and they don't deserve a moment of your time or one iota of your energy.  It's a proven fact that humans can only have one conscious thought in their brains at a time.  Don't allow that to be the rantings of a ridiculous critic.